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Foundation Pledges 10 Million Francs in Funding for New Center

Research project at Universities of Basel and Freiburg strengthens pioneering role in quantum physics

Freiburg, May 31, 2017

Foundation Pledges 10 Million Francs in Funding for New Center

Photo: Peter Mesenholl

The Georg H. Endress Foundation has pledged to provide up to 10 million francs in funding over the next 10 years for the joint project "Quantum Science and Quantum Computing" at the Universities of Basel and Freiburg. The new center of excellence under the umbrella of Eucor – The European Campus will consolidate the pioneering role of the two universities in quantum physics. This field of research is undergoing rapid development and promises revolutionary new technologies like quantum computers – with far-reaching economic and social consequences.

"Revolutionary advancements in the experimental control and the theoretical understanding of complex quantum systems are putting concrete applications within reach – from new materials to big data – and attracting attention in European industry and society. The funding from the Georg H. Endress Foundation opens up a time horizon that will enable the cross-border center to have a groundbreaking and lasting impact," says Prof. Dr. Andreas Buchleitner from the University of Freiburg's Institute of Physics. The project manager is Prof. Dr. Daniel Loss from the University of Basel's Department of Physics.

The closer cooperation between the Universities of Basel and Freiburg is now leading to the establishment of an internationally visible center of excellence in quantum physics. At the heart of the new project is an international cluster for postdoctoral researchers and two doctoral programs in Basel and Freiburg. As a unifying element, the postdocs will work on joint research projects at both universities. The goal is to train outstanding doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers, thus preparing the future workforce for the emerging market for quantum technologies.

"With its generous funding pledge, the Georg H. Endress Foundation is supporting the development of quantum science and quantum computing on the Upper Rhine, fields with enormous potential for the future," says Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector of the University of Freiburg and President of Eucor – The European Campus. "The project creates a sound basis for enabling the European Campus to participate in the European Commission's planned flagship program as a partner on an equal footing." This program will aim to intensify the development of quantum technologies in Europe starting in 2018.

The center of excellence will be expanded in the future to include further Eucor partners, like the University of Strasbourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "This form of trinational cooperation will serve as a model for other international projects and will benefit not just the participating universities but the entire three-country corner as an economic region and a place to live," says the Rector of the University of Basel, Prof. Dr. Andrea Schenker-Wicki.

Background Information on the Georg H. Endress Foundation
The charitable Georg H. Endress Foundation, based in Reinach, Switzerland, is devoted to promoting young talent in academic and non-academic fields as well as adults in the "three-country corner" straddling the German, French, and Swiss borders. The foundation also provides funding and support for people, associations, organizations, and institutions engaged in research, continuing education, training, and job retention in the fields of electronics, electrical engineering, and biotechnology at the national, bi-, or trinational level.

Background Information on Eucor – The European Campus
The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) Eucor – The European Campus evolved in the course of a longstanding partnership between the universities on the Upper Rhine. In December 2015 the five member universities – the University of Basel, the University of Freiburg, the University of Upper Alsace, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and the University of Strasbourg – signed the founding documents to give the international research and teaching alliance its own legal personality. The aim of the alliance is to form a cross-border science and research area with an international reach, pooling the competence and potential of 15,000 researchers, 15 doctoral candidates, and 115,000 students.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Buchleitner
Physikalisches Institut
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-5830

Prof. Dr. Tobias Schätz
Physikalisches Institut
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Phone: +49 (761)203-5880